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Can hybrid IC engine/electric cars compete unaided in the market? February 26, 2006 2:47 PM

A few very successful petrol/electric hybrid cars have been successfully launched in recent years. The Toyota Prius is the most well-known example. However, it is not clear that they are being sold at a profit. What conditions are needed for “the typical motorist” to find this type of car a better buy than an ordinary petrol or diesel engined car? Any kind of feedback or information would be appreciated greatly. If you would like to email your response or discuss this question with me feel free to at 03142992@brookes.ac.uk Kind regards  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 28, 2006 2:49 PM

I had a roommate that worked at an auto dealer, and I can tell you that no car dealer makes a profit on any new car. They make their profits from accessories and selling used cars.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 28, 2006 3:55 PM

I am thinking of getting a new car. The prius looks good, but I haven't gotten round to figuring out whether the fuel savings would justify the extra cost. I don't usually buy cars new.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 28, 2006 4:08 PM

I love my Prius for 2 reasons - for the fuel savings and for the partial zero emissions....  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 28, 2006 4:57 PM

partial zero emissions.... what does this mean?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 March 01, 2006 7:18 AM

When the car is in electric mode - it is zero emissions. Starting, stopping, maintaining a speed - all no emissions.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 March 01, 2006 3:49 PM

It cannot maintain a constant speed indefinitely in electric mode. Only for a short period, especially if the speed is high.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
John W..... March 04, 2006 12:10 AM

> What conditions are needed for “the typical motorist” to find this type of car a better buy than an ordinary petrol or diesel engined car?< Answer: The true cost of oil should be reflected in the price at the pump. Much of the US military expenditures are devoted to keeping the oil flowing. We fight wars over oil, nevermind what excuses Bush claims. We remain friends with the Saudis in spite of the fact that most of the 9/11 hijackers came from there, because we want their oil. We keep a large military presence in the gulf region to protect the source of oil. We're losing the friends all over the world in our need for oil. All those costs should be reflected at the pump. In other words, the consumers (not the taxpayers) should be paying the military costs as well as the other costs. That should drive gasoline from about $2.50 to maybe $10.00. Maybe much more. And THAT would be the condition for “the typical motorist” to find this type of car a better buy than an ordinary petrol or diesel engined car".  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 March 04, 2006 6:19 PM

My group on green taxes: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/gts  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Hybrid car sales to surge March 09, 2006 12:01 AM

http://finance.news.com.au/story/0,10166,18400868-31037,00.html HYBRID cars would be the fastest selling vehicles over the next five years as drivers looked for fuel efficiency over affordability, automotive executives said.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Some info on Hybrids March 09, 2006 12:17 AM

From a LATOC (Life after the oil crash) website "What About Super Fuel Efficient and/or Electric Cars?" I. Hybrids Hybrids or so called "hyper-cars" aren't the answer either because the construction of an average car consumes the energy equivalent of approximately 27-54 barrels (1,110-2,200 gallons) of oil. Thus, a crash program to replace the 700 million internal combustion vehicles currently on the road with super fuel-efficient or alternative fuel-powered vehicles would consume the energy equivalent of approximately 18-36 billion barrels of oil, which is the amount of oil the world currently consumes in six-to-twelve months. Consequently, such a program (while well-intentioned) would actually bring the collapse upon us even sooner.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
I don't agree at all March 09, 2006 12:21 PM

The article said >Hybrids or so called "hyper-cars" aren't the answer either because the construction of an average car consumes the energy equivalent of approximately 27-54 barrels (1,110-2,200 gallons) of oil. Thus, a crash program to replace the 700 million internal combustion vehicles currently on the road with super fuel-efficient or alternative fuel-powered vehicles would consume the energy equivalent of approximately 18-36 billion barrels of oil. This reasoning is faulty at several levels: 1...Hybrids are not "average cars". I don't know what is average, but certainly most cars are bigger, a lot heavier, and with much larger engines. So the energy consumed to build present cars does not apply directly to hybrids. 2...What "crash program"? Nobody is suggesting that perfectly good cars be scrapped. I'm not sure what the average lifespan of cars is today but a good guess might be ten years, so replacing the whole fleet would take about ten years at the current rate of production. 3...Any crash program would require lots more car factories - and they'd only be needed for a year or two and then abandoned. Investors would never pay for that. And all those new jobs would be gone in a year or two. That scenario is clearly absurd. 4...Even if hybrids required the same energy to produce, there would be NO extra energy needed to maintain the same production level as today. And in ten years we'd all be driving hybrids! Of course such a high production rate would bring hybrid prices down - as well as fostering gobs of improvements. Of course some older cars remain on the streets, but some new ones are totalled too, so the ten year average lifespan seems reasonable. Anyone have better numbers?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Oil Wars March 09, 2006 3:47 PM

If this info is all absurd, why is the USA Administration sinking that country further into debt in a scramble to secure crude oil? My answer is because the energy output produced by oil is the best option to keep the economy going (for now) in it's current dillusional state. They have no better solution. The site I found this in was complied by a lawyer who has built his case with sound research.Read it and if you think it is "absurd" I may as well not argue, because I think he may well be onto something big. And imminent. I refer to the comment that oil "should" be refelcted at it's real value of over $10 per gallon (usa). Do you know what this would (will) do to investors and average workers in, well every sector as cheap oil is used at this time for pretty much everything in the modern world. At $10 per gallon, there would be mass starvation and economic meltdown. It wont just mean the difference in what is paid at the petrol pump, regardless of your car. Coal is mined and transported with cheap oil for example. Planes and ships need crude oil fuelled engines. Read it all if you dare. The USA congress has formed a committee based on this website.Because it is not Absurd, I am afraid, for all of us. http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
I mean gasoline at $10 a gal, not oil March 09, 2006 3:53 PM

sorry small typo in that last post.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Slow down there, Issac March 09, 2006 7:39 PM

I said "3...Any crash program would require lots more car factories - and they'd only be needed for a year or two and then abandoned. Investors would never pay for that. And all those new jobs would be gone in a year or two. That scenario is clearly absurd." And you replied "If this info is all absurd, why..." I never said it was ALL absurd. I said THAT SCENARIO is clearly absurd. Nobody would build enough car factories for any "crash program" for the reasons I stated. Referring to my earlier post, you said "At $10 per gallon, there would be mass starvation and economic meltdown." You missed my point completely. What I'm saying is that we're paying something like that already, when you factor in the obscene costs of the military needed to keep that oil flowing. If we ended the military support of our oil supply, the Pentagon costs would drop by a large percentage (but the oil flow would suffer). Since the military money is being spent to provide our oil, those costs should be reflected at the gas pump, not the tax bill. The oil users should be paying the full cost. Then the market for all sorts of energy-saving techniques (including hybrids) would be financially viable. That's my point.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 March 09, 2006 7:42 PM

Why are you talking about a 'crash program' anyway? That is never going to happen. Lets start with trying to increase the number of replacement vehicles that are hybrid, above the very low current levels.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Freediver March 09, 2006 7:49 PM

We're only talking about a "crash program" because that was in the item Isaac posted and with which I disagreed. Such a program could never happen. You and I also agree that steps must be taken to encourage energy conservation. That's why I was promoting the idea of charging the full cost of the oil at the pump rather than the tax bill. People won't get interested in saving oil until the costs begin to hurt, and those already conserving should not have to pay taxes to keep cheap oil flowing for others.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Full Price would make the system crumble quicker March 09, 2006 8:48 PM

Perhaps you are right when you say the military option is just offsetting the real cost anyway. Either way something has gotta give and I fear it is too late to retrofit our whole system with new technologies and not expect some hard times ahead. If petrol goes thru the roof as you suggest (I don't disagree entirely) what company will see it viable to lug food and medicine (etc etc etc). Where will we get the cheap energy to retrofit the entire infrastructure of the world?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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